Wednesday January 2, 2013
A slight case of new year resolve
So Aunty, So What?
By June H.L. Wong
Nothing serious, nothing heavy in today’s column. That would be too depressing to start the year. Instead, a bit of personal fluff.
WELCOME to 2013! We’ve made it to another new year – whoopee. For those who ushered in Jan 1 with merriment and fireworks, good on you.
Mine was spent quietly, without fanfare. That gave me some time to think about what last year was like for me.
I tend to get a bit maudlin with every turn of the year – the feeling of lost time, missed opportunities, of bad, angry episodes – so I have to remind myself to remember the good moments, too.
I had wonderful holidays in Japan, South Korea and the UK. My son aced his SPM and matriculation, my niece had a baby (with another on the way) and two nephews got married.
My husband and I are grateful too that our two older daughters hold good jobs and my parents are still with us, relatively happy and healthy.
Knowing how many friends and colleagues lost loved ones last year, I am deeply grateful I still have my dear ones with me.
Looking back, 2012 was a full and challenging year of work and family commitments, but what I am especially proud of is what you are reading – my column which started on March 1.
I have been a journalist for more than 30 years and writing is second nature to me. It was my love for the written word that got me into this profession in the first place.
Yet, along the way, while I never stopped dealing with words, I almost stopped writing.
As an editor, I was editing and rewriting other people’s work but my own voice and thoughts had largely fallen silent.
This column changed that. In 22 articles over 10 months, I have given my take and opinion on people, events and issues I felt I had something worthwhile to say.
I handled some topics better than others and discerning readers responded accordingly. That is what makes writing a column so worthwhile.
To have people you don’t know read your articles and who take the trouble to write back to share their views, including contrary ones, is thoroughly satisfying and humbling. Thank you for that.
Every instalment of So Aunty, So What? is nerve-wracking because I never quite know how it will be received. But it has certainly made me a writer again.
So what will this year be like?
First off, I hope for a safer, gentler, happier world. We cannot prevent natural disasters but we can hope for fewer man-made tragedies filled with madness and mayhem.
On a national macro level, we all know it will be very interesting and important as the next general election will be fierce and closely fought. As a journalist, I am excited about covering this battle royale.
On a personal micro level, I want to try to change my rather unhealthy lifestyle.
I sleep late and often don’t eat properly and love my cakes too much. This once exercise fanatic is now a sedentary lump with a growing belly and rear.
For the most of last year, I was held hostage by, erm, my hair. I had hair that was coloured and permed which required me to set it in curlers every time I washed it. That took me half an hour and I had to sit around for two hours to allow the hair to dry and the hair to curl.
Since it took so much effort, I tried to make every hairwash last – which meant I tried not to sweat. So, no exercise and plenty of hairspray to keep it all up.
I got so good at it that some people at work thought I spent all my time getting my hair done at the salon.
Indeed, if I did visit the salon, I tried even harder to make it last, to get my money’s worth.
That was really a stupid way to live. Like I said, I was hostage to my hair. Well, no more, people. Last month, my hairdresser, tired of my whining, told me to trust him and promptly chopped it all off. It was quite a shock to see myself with so little hair. (Note to self: Never trust a hairdresser who says, “Trust me.”)
But Jimmy did me a favour. He liberated me and I now understand why older women generally prefer a shorter style. It is fuss-free, convenient and, most important, it takes years off the face! I’m still hairspray-dependent though.
Freed of my troublesome locks, I am trying to be a gym babe – okay, gym aunt – and my new BFF is the treadmill at my club, together with BigBang whose killer songs I listen to as I pound the mill.
So that is my resolution. I still want my cake and eat it and to do that, I vow to be more active and enjoy a trimmer, healthier body while I still can, before my knees scream in protest and my back gives way.
I have other resolutions but I am keeping those to myself because I think there will be a high rate of failure where they are concerned. If I make any of those happen, you’ll be the first to know.
So for now, happy new year and all that, dear readers!
> You won’t be able to recognise the writer from the photo byline for her column any more. Much as she would like to maintain the illusion, expect a new look soon as The Star updates all its columnists’ photographs.